“The Deeper the Businesses Are in Crisis, the Better Governance They Need”

10:31:14 AM | 7/16/2021

Protecting production chains and worker health is an urgent and vital task in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. However, sustainable governance is a long-term vaccine for business growth, said Mr. Nguyen Quang Vinh, General Secretary of VCCI and Executive Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Development (VBCSD-VCCI).

Vietnam is trying its best to fight the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has adversely affected the country's socio-economic development. Do you have any comments on the current health of the Vietnamese business community?

Needless to say, after a year of doing the best to overcome unprecedented challenges and uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, entering the year 2021, the business community is, and will be, facing numerous difficulties because the reserved resources of many businesses are running out.

Usually, the second quarter is a favorable time for new businesses to enter the market while existing ones accelerate their operations to achieve their planned revenue and profit targets. However, the fourth wave of the pandemic starting in May till now has turned the tide of many businesses and caused the most negative effects among COVID-19 outbreaks to date.

However, I believe that the effect on business "health" is transitory but the "resilience" is strengthened. Enterprises have actively built adaptive business scenarios and worker safety measures in the context of complicated pandemic developments.

And more than ever, this will be the time when businesses with sustainable development strategies will be able to claim their advantage when they stand firm and grow well in this challenging time.

Would you tell us how this year's Program on Benchmarking and Announcing Sustainable Companies will be organized and what its new features are?

As you said, this is one of the key annual programs hosted by VCCI in collaboration with the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, and the Vietnam General Confederation of Labor. It is designed to seek and honor businesses with outstanding achievements in all three categories: economy - society - environment.

In its 6th edition, the Program has also attracted the participation of international organizations in Vietnam and continued to use the Corporate Sustainability Index (CSI) as an assessment tool for sustainable development of candidate enterprises.

Following the successful Launching Ceremony in May, we are currently accepting entry in both forms: hard copy submission and online filing at the website http://vbcsd.vn/. The deadline for receipt of applications is August 15, 2021.

Reviewing records and scoring companies will be strictly implemented as in previous years.

A special feature of this year's Program is that we have two more sub-prizes on Gender Equality at Work and Children's Rights in Business. These contents are also appreciated by the world business community, representing the vision of "leaving no one behind" in a sustainable corporate culture.

I want to reemphasize that the significance of the Program is not confined to awarding the "Sustainable Company" title, but more deeply, we want to strongly inspire the business community to change business mindset, perceptions and corporate governance practices by applying the CSI Index.

We have witnessed many big international corporations collapse when they failed to make timely transformational change, grasp new trends and manage businesses in a sustainable and transparent manner. For Vietnam, more than 90% of companies are small and medium in size, and they even further need to apply corporate governance. In particular, the deeper in crisis they are, the better corporate governance they need.

You have repeatedly emphasized "Leaving no one behind", and how is it reflected in the CSI 2021?

The most important content of the 6th edition is the decentralization of the CSI into three different levels for business size. M is designed for micro and small businesses. C (common) is for medium and large enterprises and A for advanced indicators, showing that in addition to complying with the law, companies have also built a sound business ecosystem for sustainable business interests for partners and other stakeholders.

With this decentralization, we want to reemphasize and convey the message that "sustainable development is not a distant issue, a big thing for large enterprises only, but very practical and relevant for all through good legal practices."

CSI 2021 receives application entries through August 15. For more information, please refer to http://vbcsd.vn/.

Now, instead of spending a lot of effort researching the "matrix" of information on their own, businesses can envision a roadmap toward sustainable development on a small to large scale, thereby building their own appropriate strategies and business plans. This helps them, especially small and medium ones, save a lot of time and resources in corporate governance towards sustainable development.

To help them understand and apply the CSI Index more effectively, we organized online training courses in July for businesses and business associations. A training course on "Effective and transparent corporate governance: Role of Corporate Sustainability Index" was held on July 6. The next training course is scheduled for July 15.

Source: Vietnam Business Forum